Cleveland Browns surprises and disappointments in 2021 season

Browns, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Browns, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
Jan 3, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Robert Spillane (41) and outside linebacker Alex Highsmith (56) tackle Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (24) during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cleveland Browns 2021 season was a wild one filled with good and bad. See two surprises and two disappointments from last year.

The 2021 season was a complete roller coaster for the Cleveland Browns. The offense started out hot and the defense struggled, then they completely reversed rolls. There were a ton of injuries and a COVID19 outbreak the caused a reschedule, and the starting quarterback played most of the season with a serious injury.

There’s no doubt that the biggest disappointment of the 2021 season was the 8-9 record and not making the playoffs for back-to-back years. The expectation coming into the season was at least making it to the AFC Championship Game, but many were thinking they’d be taking on Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl.

Yeah, some of it was the excitement from 2020, but the Cleveland Browns have a tremendous roster and just underperformed this season. While the record was a huge disappointment, let’s dig a little deeper for two surprises and two disappointments for the team this season.

Disappointment No. 2 – Inconsistent Offense

For me, the biggest surprise was the lack of offense, especially the second half of the season. I know that Baker Mayfield was fighting injuries, but the fact the team continued to put him on the field takes away all excuses in my opinion.

After scoring 42 points and losing the game in week five, the Browns were held to 14 points or less in six of their final nine games. In three of those games, the team scored 10 or fewer points which isn’t going to get things done.

The offense led the league in rushing, but it just wasn’t nearly as efficient as it was in 2020. Nick Chubb and cast had far too many negative runs and that was constantly putting the offense behind the chains. Mayfield will never be a quarterback that can be successful in the shotgun slinging the ball 50 times per game.

The offensive line struggled to open holes, and Kevin Stefanski sometimes gave up on the run too quickly and wasn’t creative with play calling. Things will need to be better in 2022.